New AmeriCorps Program Partners with Community Colleges, Industry Leaders Across the Country to Meet Urgent Workforce Demands by Empowering Students to Enter Key Industries

CRCorps has more than thirty student participants at three community colleges in Texas and Colorado, with plans to launch in five additional states this year

CHICAGO – College Renaissance Corps (CRCorps), an AmeriCorps service and leadership program at Campus Compact, is expanding its partnerships with community colleges and industry leaders across the country to meet urgent workforce needs in key industries. 

High-demand fields like advanced manufacturing, computer science, welding, artificial intelligence, and engineering are experiencing growing labor shortages and skills gaps that need to be filled in order for the U.S. to maintain a strong economy. 

At the same time, there is high youth disengagement, unemployment and limited access to skills training. That’s where CRCorps comes in by creating a pipeline of diverse and skilled talent ready to enter high-demand industries. By completing the CRCorps Industry Ambassador program, community college students gain paid opportunities to engage in service projects, connection with industry leaders for mentorship opportunities, and network training that allows them to hit the ground running in their respective industries upon graduation.

CRCorps is gaining momentum as more community colleges and industry leaders choose to partner with the program, drawn by its potential to enhance the educational PRand professional development of students while addressing the academic-industry divide to help build the workforce of tomorrow. There are already three community colleges participating in the program—Houston Community College in Texas and Arapahoe Community College and Community College of Denver in Colorado—and a growing list of industry partners, with five additional community colleges waiting to bring the program to their campuses. 

“In a world where many college students find themselves missing out on crucial opportunities to connect with mentors and navigate their careers, CRCorps provides guidance and connection,” said Samuel Adebiyi, CRCorps Industry Ambassador. “I’m proud to have been selected, and I look forward to fully embracing the program's curriculum to show that anyone can achieve their educational dreams and thrive in the community and workforce with the right support and resources.”

“Working with CRCorps is a significant step forward in aligning education with the real-world needs of the advanced manufacturing sector,” said Houston Community College’s Dean of Material Science and Smart Manufacturing, Alberto Urbina. “This collaboration enriches our students' experience and allows them to envision their future as community and workplace leaders.” 

"Our partnership with CRCorps signifies a commitment to excellence and innovation in workforce development," stated Thomas Tynan, Executive Director of Training and Recruitment at WorkTexas. "Seeing the determination and progress of these students reaffirms our mission and the transformative potential of our collaboration with CRCorps and we look forward to continuing our work with new Ambassadors."

“Our partnership with CRCorps will allow us to play a pivotal role in preparing the next wave of industry leaders,” said Mark Yoss, Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute at Metropolitan State University. “We look forward to the positive outcomes our partnership will bring to both the students and the broader industry.” 

While CRCorps is bolstering high-demand industries, the program's priority is to empower the Industry Ambassadors to emerge as community and industry leaders, equipped with the skills and insights to drive positive change.

“We're incredibly excited and grateful to see so many students expressing interest in serving as ambassadors,” said Eric Lugo, CRCorps’ National Director. “Their diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and academic pursuits enriches our program and significantly strengthens CRCorps ability to inspire many others to consider community college industry pathways as a first and smart choice.”  

“CRCorps vividly demonstrates the transformative power of service in building skilled, community-focused professionals,” said Mal Coles, previous AmeriCorps Acting Chief Executive Officer. “The program's growth over the past several months is a testament to educators’ increasing desire to cultivate the next generation of leaders and the eagerness of young professionals to step up and seek opportunities to have a meaningful impact on their communities.” 

CRCorps welcomed the following students to their Industry Ambassador Program this Spring 2024:

  • Adama Sylla, Computer Science, Houston Community College

  • Betsy Matkovich, Engineering-Nuclear, Community College of Denver

  • Brandon Chavez, Engineering Science, Houston Community College

  • Dah Ku, Biology, Community College of Denver

  • David Merlano, Business with interest in Cert, Arapahoe Community College

  • Diondria Morris, Artificial Intelligence, Houston Community College

  • Elijah Guzman, Logistics, Houston Community College

  • Ezequiel Rodriguez, Welding, Houston Community College

  • Ezra Morales, Psychology, Community College of Denver

  • Fatima Lawal, Artificial Intelligence, Houston Community College

  • Gabriel Duran, Artificial Intelligence, Houston Community College

  • Gael Morales, Computer Science, Community College of Denver

  • Jason Amaya, Mechanical Engineering, Houston Community College

  • Jennifer Granados, Architectural Drafting, Houston Community College

  • Juliet Kale, Engineering - Aerospace, Community College of Denver

  • Kathryn (Kat) Lowrey, Aerospace Engineering, Arapahoe Community College

  • Kim Tang, Computer Information System, Community College of Denver

  • Madan Khadka, Computer Science, Community College of Denver

  • Makeda (Maki) Tesfaye, Marketing, Community College of Denver

  • Mario Gonzalez, Heating, Ventilation, Air, Conditioning, and Refrigeration, Houston Community College

  • Meena Krishnakumar, Computer Technician, Arapahoe Community College

  • Michael Kish, IT and Construction Management, Arapahoe Community College

  • Michael Ndu, Computer Science, Houston Community College

  • Miranda Burton, Architecture, Community College of Denver

  • Rosaelia Gutierrez, Computer System Networking, Houston Community College

  • Ryan Benlabhili, Computer Science, Community College of Denver

  • Samuel Adebiyi, Computer Information Systems, Houston Community College

  • Spencer Garrison Mize, Welding, Community College of Denver

  • Stefani Baires, Computer Science, Houston Community College

  • Susan Velasquez, Health Information Technology, Arapahoe Community College

College Renaissance Corps is a program of Campus Compact, the largest and oldest association in the United States dedicated to higher education civic and community engagement. Learn more at